What are your top tips for packing your holiday suitcase?

I’m a meticulous packer and I like to pack and repack a thousand times. I’m looking for a few tips and tricks that will help me pack the smallest, lightest luggage for when I head on holidays in four weeks. I’m off for two weeks to the US (so, summer season) and want to keep the luggage light as I’ll be staying with different friends and moving around a fair bit.

My usual go to is to pack all monochrome colours with some nice, colourful jewelry - that way I know everything mixes and matches. I also like to pack brands like Metalicus, as I know the clothes won’t need ironing.

What are you best tips or tricks for packing for a holiday?


Wow - I’ve learnt so much about what to pack just from your post! I’m a fan on packing a physical book for when my digital devices run out of batteries. Usually a second-hand one, too, so I can trade it for another on the trip! Although, that doesn’t help with your question about light luggage! If I’m going somewhere warm, I find wrap dresses can be tightly packed and are versatile.
But I know there are loads of people on the forum who are travel buffs! Do you have any tips around packing light, @basinboy @Kayelle @tndkemp @southerton @aschefamily ? I’ve seen you post about travelling a couple of times! :slight_smile:

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Be wary of how heavy your luggage is empty, we have some good quality american tourist brand roller packs that weigh 7kg’s empty, and some cheap chinese roller packs that weigh only 2kg empty, guess which ones we almost always use?

Handy item to have is a handheld bag scales you don’t need to spend very much for a useful scale but it can save $$ by avoiding overweight baggage charges. A lot of hotels have gyms where you can usually find some scales but if you have your own hand scale you don’t need to lug your bags to the gym and repack them redistributing the weight in front of bemused strangers.
Done that a couple of times and most people ask are you Aussies? as it must be a custom among australian travellers.


I always use Smart Pack packing cells… They keep everything in convenient packs, sorted into T-shirts, cosmetics, electronics, underwear etc etc. Cannot recommend them highly enough.


A week before, put what you think you need to take out on a soair bed/floor in the bedroom corner.

Everytime you walk past it, ask yourself the question…‘do I need to take that?’ If you are absulutely sure, leave it out. If unsure or no, put it away. Over the week you will realise that only the essentials are left and will 3asy fit into your luggage.


@tndkemp CHOICE has actually reviewed luggage scales if you’re in the market for a new one. Worth checking out.

P.S. Thanks for the tips everyone - keep 'em coming!


I like travelling with clothes that I can wash if needs be, so I take microfibre undies as well as hiking/travel shirts and trousers (from outdoors shops). I also like the zip off trousers so that I then have shorts for walking. They may look daggy but they are very comfortable and quick to wash and dry. I also wear comfy shoes with a good tread that look good and can be used for lots of walking and casual wear.

And with toiletries, I keep any small items I have been given, such as moisturiser and toothpaste, and use those for travelling. And those fold-up hairbrushes and toothbrushes you sometimes get are also good for travelling.


I fly way too much. These are my packing tips…

  1. If you can possibly avoid it, avoid checking in bags! They have a habit of going missing, delayed or damaged. You’ll save yourself heaps of time waiting around for your luggage and the headaches when things go wrong. You also avoid the extra fees that some airlines charge for checking in bags.

  2. Get yourself a good cabin roller. The Samsonite 72 Hours 55cm cabin roller is my pick, super lightweight (1.7kgs) and so far has gone the distance on 100+ flights. I got mine for $170 in a sale and I couldn’t be happier with it. Some airlines enforce weight restrictions on the cabin bags, you don’t want to use up half your allowance on the bag itself!

  3. Only pack what you need, if you can buy a few things at your destination that makes it a lot easier. Depending on the pricing, do your own laundry or have things cleaned at your hotel.

  4. Take an extra lightweight bag & some plastic bags. The samsonite 72 hours actually comes with a second lightweight bag inside. Use the plastic bags to keep your dirty clothes separate in your luggage.

  5. Use all-in-ones and small travel specific items. I have a world travel adapter with built-in USB charger. Small multi-cables. These little things add up, so cut down where you can.

  6. Liquids, only take small amounts. Little travel toothpastes, deodorant etc etc. If your liquids are small enough, I find you can get through security without needing to pull everything out and re-pack it.

  7. Wear your heavy items. If I’m close to, or over the limit, then I make sure I’m wearing my jeans, shoes and jacket when checking in, this is when most airlines check. If I really need to cut down the weight I’ll put some of the heavier items in my pockets and then re-pack.


Great tips @southerton. I actually have the larger, check-in version of that Samsonite and love it - it’s so light!

I’m going to try to take carry on only. Unfortunately I am a bridesmaid in a wedding so I have a few extra dresses to take with me, along with my rock climbing gear as I’ll be attempting to get outdoors a bit while I’m there.

Having said that, it’s summer and I’m going to try my best to pack light only because there’s nothing worse than lugging your things between terminals at LAX…!

Finally, here’s a Buzzfeed article with some cool packing tips.

After packing take 1 of every item out & don’t add anything else. Funny how much room you can actually save. There’s always 2nd hand clothing stores wherever you go. That’s what we do with kids toys. Buy them at a 2nd hand shop when we get there & then leave them there when we come home.


Dont forget that you can always buy stuff overseas if needed and that is part of travel.

I can’t exactly claim to be a light packer nowadays. We do follow many of the ideas above, but the space we save with all those tricks gets used up with cloth nappies. We backpack taking only as much as we can carry, and that weight includes a toddler.

Pack items into smaller travel organiser bags within your suitcase - eg one for underwear, one for shirts etc. Makes finding things so easy.


I agree on the weight of the bag empty , It makes a big difference. Also weigh a set of clothes before you leave home and wear the heaviest on the flight , with layers as sometimes airports are hot and the planes get cool. Wear your heaviest shoes on the flight . Also I take a backpack as my carryon luggage and that is then my day pack. I do not take a handbag as such. a smallish light weight over the shoulder bag is my handbag and camera bag. I only take one paperback book which I swap somewhere when finished .Carry up to 7 kg in your backpack and make sure it is within legal limits for carry on luggage . Remember your jacket when you carry it on does not count in carryon luggage so keep it separate

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I travel for 3 months at a time and require clothes ranging from hiking to formal so I take a check in luggage as well BUT I make sure that is light when empty . I have an Antler bag at present . I travel by public transport so I need to carry or drag it myself and not everywhere has lifts and Europe trains are the pits for getting your luggage onto them. Also I need to factor in varied weather. I generally always wash my clothes out in the bathroom . Zip lock bags are also an essential item, light and can be used for lots of things.


With my new carry on case I removed the wheels. This gave me 445g more gear to pack.

I can carry 7kg easily.

I recommend the Caribee Skymaster 40. It complies with all Australian and International carry on dimensions. Has no wheels (which you dont need for 7Kg) weighs 1.2Kg and works well with other luggage. Converts to back pack if required. Ie locations with lots of steps.

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Love all your tips@southerton. I’ll be travelling to Israel shortly, but will join my tour group only in Bangkok, where we’ll all get on the same plane to Tel Aviv, therefore I plan to have only a small carry on suitcase, to avoid hassles with check in luggage.
Would you, please, have suggestions for my IPhone: transformer, adaptor, new sim bought in Tel Aviv?

Hi @Gaby,

I went to Israel a few years ago and you’ll find that the hotels are mostly well equipped. You can often get away these days with just packing a USB charger and plugging it into the TV in the room to charge your phone. If you have some cash spare, it’s worth purchasing an adapter that takes USB and has all of the plugs - if you’re not travelling with a laptop (where you’ll need a full adapter) that’s your best bet. Something like this.

You will likely get screened with your luggage (checked/carry on alike - I had to unpack and repack my bag for security) in Tel Aviv - the security process there is very thorough. I honestly don’t think it will make much difference if you have checked or carry-on only. This is both exiting and entering the country. Make sure you allow plenty of time at the airport as it’s not so much the bag screening, but the immigration process that takes a long time (be ready for lots of questions).

Finally, have a great time! I loved Jerusalem - a fascinating historical city. Tel Aviv is a very modern city full of life with fantastic food. Also, one place I would absolutely not miss (and is probably one of the most amazing places I have ever been) is Wadi Rum in Jordan. I’m posting photo because it’s too hard to describe how amazing it was!


Thank you @tsouth, will consider getting the world traveller adapter.
Also: Amazing photo! I’m looking forward to my trip, everyone who’s travelled there tells me that they’ve had a wonderful time.

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